Not all fantasy leagues are created the same. While most of us are used to the standard 5 x 5 categories (Avg, Home Runs, Runs Batted In, Runs, and Steals on the offensive side and Wins, Saves, ERA, Strikeouts and WHIP on the pitching side), more and more leagues are trying out new statistics. Some of these statistics are used in an attempt balance out the value of players by not rewarding them as much for where they bat in the order, or if they pitch (or hit) for a good or bad team.
In many ways it’s thought to be a truer form of analysis since it they tend to rate the player on how good the player is, rather than how good the team around him is. But it creates some issues for fantasy players who aren’t used to dealing with these categories - especially since many fantasy guides don’t use these numbers as their standards.
In this article we’ll discuss some of these statistics, illustrate how they are figured out, and some basic fantasy strategy allowing you to use them without a lot of analysis. However - basic strategy is just that - the more you know and understand these numbers the more exact and better you’ll do if your league opts to use these categories.
OBP% = On Base Percentage. How often a batter gets on - a combination of walks + Hits /ABs. Basically this is a stat that benefits hitters who control the strike zone - either to work out, or get intentionally walked, in addition to being a good hitter.
Basic Strategy: look for guys who get on a lot. OBP is a common enough statistic that most guides to have it. Leadoff hitters and guys who get walked a lot due to lack of protection are good choices.
SLG% = Slugging percentage - ((1B) + (2 *2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR)) / AB. This is a stat that rewards players who get a lot of extra base hits.
Basic Strategy: Look for guys with a lot of RBIs.
OPS = On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage. A combination of OBP and SLG which is used to judge the quality of hitter, but counts both extra base power and the batter’s ability to get on base. It’s thought to be leveling between lead off hitters and table setters who have high OPB but may not have the great power strokes and guys with more power who don’t get on as much. Considered by many to show the truest value of a hitter.
Basic Strategy: look for four and five category offensive guys - speed often means extra base hits for leadoff hitters and elevates them but not as much as power does.
RC = Runs Created = (H + BB) x TB/ AB+BB* - This statistic is thought to be an accurate way of assessing the offensive contribution of any batter. This has been borne out by analysis - which closely approximates how many runs a team actually scores.
Basic Strategy: Just look for the high average hitters with power.
RP = Runs Produced = Runs +RBIs - HR. This is a statistic which doesn’t judge just the hitter but his team too by counting not just the RBIs the batter drives in, but how many times he’s driven home too. Home runs are subtracted here to neutralize the fact that a home run gives a batter a run and an RBI on each home run - thus adding two points to the numerator instead of one. Subtracting home runs, normalizes that.
Basic Strategy: Look at middle of the order hitters who get lots of RBIs and have solid bats behind them.
QS = Quality Starts - Games where a starting pitcher goes at least six innings and permits no more than 3 runs.
Basic Strategy: Grab solid pitchers who have low ERA and WHIPs.
CG = Complete Games - self explanatory
Basic Strategy: Look for in their prime candidates and historical durability - especially among ace pitchers who get the chance to finish a game because they are mastering the opponents. Older pitchers rarely go the whole nine anymore.
WP% = Winning percentage = Wins/Wins+Loses. Still rewards a pitcher for wins, but penalizes for games which he gets a losing decision in. Thus 18-8 is better than 18-10 and rewards the pitcher ideally for pitching more even contests. This statistic works well for relievers which wins/starts cannot do.
Basic Strategy: Look for good pitchers on strong offensive teams.
*this is the most basic of formulas used to judge runs created - more advanced models take into account other ways of getting on base (ie. Hit By Pitch, errors) and subtract things like caught stealings, grounding into double plays, sacrifices and so on.
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